From the blog of mainland Chinese blogger Flypig, this September 1 post and its comments describe some of the context around an instance of downloading pirated music -- in this case, the anticipated "Still Fantasy" 《依然范特西》from Jay Chou 周杰伦, one of Asia's most popular singers. The album was released three days earlier than scheduled after the album was leaked online:
Flypig wrote on 9/1/06 (rough translation):
I saw this news item on Yam: "Jay Chou's New Album Leaked--Early Release Across Asia" 2006-9-01. Because of leaking, Jay Chou's new album "Still Fantasy," originally scheduled for release on September 8, will now be released across Asia on September 5. Alfa Music record label CEO, Yang Junrong, expressed his dismay at such disloyal acts within the industry and promised to resort to the law. Disloyal workers at a mainland Chinese record production facility stole master copies of the album for their own profit, and sold them to disreputable, illegal websites, with the result that the songs had already appeared online before the album had been released."
Practically in tears of excitement, I went to eMule and did a search. Found a whole pile of .rar files. If you've installed eMule, click on this link [hyperlinked in original blog post] to download it.
My favorite song is "Listen to Mama" 《听妈妈的话》. If anyone has the lyrics, please share them!
Of course I'll [also] buy the official version. There are so few singers these days who can still write and sing.
Of interest: as soon as the news of a leak gets out, fans are all over it, even if they plan to buy the official version in a store. Comments to Flypig's post included those who also prefer the real thing:
First have a listen. I already pre-ordered it a long time ago anyway. It's still more comfortable listening to a CD...
and someone who suspects the pirated version might not be authentic after all: After listening to this album I feel it's got to be a spoof. Not all of the songs are even from the new album. We'll have to wait until it comes out to know the truth.
ScYui's blog followed up with this:
Last night I saw that Jay Chou's new album "Still Fantasy" was available online to download, and three of the songs even had the lyrics. I wasn't surprised -- the same thing happened last year with his "November's Chopin" album. They said it was going to be released at the same time around the world, and then a few days beforehand it appeared online for downloading. It's not that Chou is looking out for us mainland fans, rather the source appears to be the mainland factory that was pressing the CDs....
After losing my CD player I haven't bought any more CDs. I haven't listened to any fewer songs, just get them naturally from the Internet. But you have to support Chou's new album, so I ordered a copy from Joyo, even had it shipped by air. If you support him too, buy a copy...
Note: eMule is a P2P file sharing client.